Fiji told to address issues of human rights and rule of law: CMAG

  • 1st October 2012
  • 2012
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The Commonwealth has welcomed Fiji’s progress on constitutional talks but expressed concern at remaining restrictions on human rights and the rule of law.

The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) met in New York on 28 September and called on the interim administration to address the remaining restrictions on human rights and the rule of law in order to create the environment necessary for credible constitutional consultations and elections”.

The Commonwealth reaffirmed its readiness to assist Fiji in “appropriate ways” and encouraged further high level interaction between the Commonwealth and Fiji.

Ministers emphasised the importance of “a constitutional process which is fully independent, inclusive and without pre-determined outcomes”.

CMAG’s concluding statement on Fiji follows in full:

Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group Concluding Statement

28 September 2012
New York, 28 September 2012

 

  1. The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) held its Thirty-Eighth Meeting in New York on 28 September 2012.
  2. The Meeting was attended by Hon Sato Kilman, Prime Minister of Vanuatu; Senator the Hon Bob Carr, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia; Hon Dr Dipu Moni, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh; Hon John Baird, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Canada; Hon AJ Nicholson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica; Hon Bernard K Membe, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Tanzania; Hon Winston Dookeran, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Communications of Trinidad and Tobago; and H E Andrew Bangali, Ambassador of Sierre Leone to Ethiopia and the African Union.
  3. CMAG Ministers unanimously elected Hon Dr Dipu Moni, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh, as the new Chair of CMAG.

                                                    Fiji
  4. CMAG reiterated its commitment to supporting and encouraging Fiji’s reinstatement as a full member of the Commonwealth family, through the restoration of civilian constitutional democracy.
  5. Ministers welcomed continued progress in Fiji, including completion of the first phase of voter registration and commencement of the constitutional consultation process. Ministers welcomed the broad-based national dialogue on Fiji’s future taking place through that process, and commended the Constitutional Commission on its work to date.
  6. Ministers emphasised the importance of a constitutional process which is fully independent, inclusive and without pre-determined outcomes.
  7. Ministers expressed concern about remaining restrictions on human rights and the rule of law, and urged the Government of Fiji to address these, in order to create the environment necessary for credible constitutional consultations and elections.
  8. Ministers reaffirmed the Commonwealth’s readiness to provide assistance to Fiji in appropriate ways and encouraged further high-level interaction between the Commonwealth and Fiji.
  9. Ministers noted the decisions of leaders of the Pacific in relation to Fiji at a number of recent meetings, and reiterated the Commonwealth’s commitment to working in consultation and co-operation with regional and international partners.